Thursday, January 17, 2008

Does Panda Inn Use MSG?

Girls' Night OUT!
Originally uploaded by katzeye

I am suspecting that they do. Here are my reasons why I suspect this:

1-I had a neurological virus a few years back that nearly crippled me in more ways than one. Doctors are actually pretty amazed that I pulled through with as much capability as I enjoy. But it left me with a few glitches.

One of them is a sensitivity to certain chemicals that affect the central nervous system-such as caffeine, aspartame (and a few other artificial sweeteners), and MSG.

This is how I react to MSG. I lie awake all night, exhausted, not ruminating, not tense, not going over and over something, not worried, just awake. AWAKE, AWAKE, AWAKE.

MSG and a few other things, are excitotoxins, in that they stimulate the central nervous system in unpleasant ways. If you have a "normal" CNS, you may not notice any reaction at all to MSG, or you may get a headache, or some insomnia, or a flushing, or discomfort, or, you may be sensitive and have an anaphylactic shock experience, complete with a ride in an ambulance!

Or you may just be awake for about two days, like me.

2-I was awake most of the night last night (slept maybe an hour and a half), after eating at Panda Inn, and today, exhausted, tried to nap, but only managed to get about 15 minutes of sleep with about two hours of trying to sleep, and incapable of much else.

3-Because those who like to use MSG in foods, also like to disguise it, due to the fact that some people are not very happy with that additive, a restaurant could say, MSG-free, but the chemical may still appear in some broths or bases that they purchase, or it may appear with one of its AKAs such as “natural flavorings,” “hydrolyzed yeast extract,” “hydrolyzed vegetable protein,” etc. So, even though I have contacted Panda Inn to see if they ever use MSG in their foods, and even though they have not responded yet, the fact remains, they could be using it and not really realize they are, or hope that they are fooling us, or any variation of the above.

4-MSG is in just about everything processed, and it is difficult to keep up with all of its AKAs.

Why, if it causes problems to a large enough segment of the population, and is known to do so, and many food manufacturers try to disguise that they use it, is it used at all?

Because it makes food taste better than normal, but that is an illusion. It causes your central nervous system to think that what you are eating tastes better than it really does, and it causes you to eat more.

So then, what is it anyway, a drug? There are some who would like to classify it as such. And many who would classify it as a harmful drug. Anyone who is sensitive to it would agree with that.

Those of us who react to MSG might be considered to be the canaries in the mine. Just because you don’t have a reaction to it (and you don’t get hungry again immediately or eat too much, or have a headache, at least), doesn’t mean that you are free from any and all harm from consuming MSG.

I don’t know about you, but I think I would rather eat food that actually tastes good than eat food that has been laced with a chemical to make me think it tastes good. There’s just something smarmy and brave-new-world-ish about that.

Still waiting to hear from Panda Inn and see what it is that they use in their food. If they are able to convince me that they never use MSG in any form whatsoever, I will report back here (and wonder where I got the neuroexcitin, maybe chewing gum?)


Purpose said...

This is so weird. It is 2:59 pm and I am up working because I can't sleep. I am going to look into the MSG thing.
Also my mind has been spinning on how best to organize this "Family Service Challenge." I will e-mail some thoughts.

Purpose said...

Totally weird but can't find your e-mail address. Can you send?
Stacey Tate

kc petersen said...

Okay, so Panda Inn got back to me, and, indeed, they do use MSG in their cooking. Tah-dah!!!

That explains it!

They were, however, kind enough to tell me that they will prepare a dish without MSG upon request.


Benincosa Bylines said...

Hey, glad you found me! Interesting about Panda Inn. So, where CAN one find a no-MSG Chinese food place? Your system is so sensitive! Well, I have Fibro, so I shouldn't talk, eh? I love your blog! Someday I will learn how to it cool like you...perhaps! Love ya, GF! Pickle

kc petersen said...

Hi Pickle,
The best way, I think would be to go marching into the kitchen and ask to read the ingredients of all items that go into your food! I feel sorry for people who are seriously allergic to MSG, though. The only thing that happens to me is that I am awake for about 24 hours, and a zombie for 12 of them!